Australians were among the first Western tourists to embrace the opportunities for travel in Thailand. Today, the Land of Smiles is still a premier destination for Australians. In fact, the flight path to Thailand is Australia’s sixth-busiest outgoing route.
The dynamic relationship between Thailand and Australia has been ongoing for decades. Out of all the East-West relationships at work in Thailand, Australia’s is probably the most significant. Just consider the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), or the fact that that there are 18 prominent Thai temples on the Australian continent. Every year, roughly 400,000 Australian tourists come to Thailand. Most come strictly for the leisure and adventure opportunities, but a few have loftier motives.
For Australians, traveling and volunteering in Thailand is a meaningful way to give back to your corner of the global community. By working to improve the lives of people who live in this region, you’ll be contributing to the future of the entire Asia Pacific region. All of the hard work you invest in Thailand returns to Australian shores in bolstered diplomatic relations, stronger cross-cultural ties and better prospects for the region’s future.
Volunteer Opportunities for Australian Volunteers
We’ve been lucky to work with so many Australians at Friends for Asia. The volunteers that we host are involved in some of the most important humanitarian and conservation projects in Northern Thailand. Around 15% of our volunteer base is Australian. Projects they work on range from teaching English to novice monks to caring for orphans of HIV. Some are involved in building and care giving with single mothers, while others coordinate with conservation projects that sustain the Asian elephant population while creating jobs for hill tribe ethnic minorities.
A Rewarding Mix of International Volunteers
It’s easy to see why Australians are drawn to Friends for Asia’s volunteer programs. There are literally people from all over the world working on these projects and staying in FFA accommodation. You’ll be networked into highly effective projects that are changing lives in Northern Thailand. At the same time, you’ll also be spending your evenings and weekends with a dynamic mix of volunteers from all over the world.
All the while, you’ll be assisted by our team of expert Thai coordinators, many of whom have strong overseas connections. Some have lived and studied abroad. Others grew up in bilingual households. For this reason, our volunteer coordinators are uniquely qualified to help our Australian volunteers interface with the unique mix of cultures at work in Northern Thailand.
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Volunteer StoriesAlex Jacobson, California, USA - Teaching Monks and Caregiving at Single Mother's Home, March, 2009
“The Land of Smiles” is the perfect phrase coined for Thailand. Love radiates from this country through the smiles and warm greetings from the local people. Whether it was during my trip in Pai, the Friends for Asia home, or at either of my volunteer projects, I feel that I made many unexpected friendships!
James Kneafsey, Dublin, Ireland - Elephant Camp March, 2009
"It was a joy working at the Elephant Camp: waking up to elephants passing by my balcony in the morning, swimming with the elephants, eating like a king, pitching in with the work, building relationships with the staff and having a well earned beer at the roadside bar in the evening."
Anke Anemaet – Lelystad, The Netherlands – Teaching Monks July, 2010
“ENJOY YOUR STAY HERE! You will be sad to leave, as I am now. It’s hard to explain to the boys that you won’t be coming back next week and you have to go home. They have all been such lovely students. Each one of them has their own personality and you’ll love them all. Take pictures so that you can remember them forever. They have become so important to me, which is unexplainable. I will truly miss them a lot. ”
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